April 17, 2024


Food never sleeps.

4 Previous Expert Soccer Gamers Tackle The Globe Of Italian Cuisine

6 min read

ElevenTwelve is an e-commerce enterprise specializing in Italian food stuff and wine started by 4 Italian-born American football gamers. Via their passion for American football and Italian food stuff, co-founders Giorgio Tavecchio, Vincenzo D’Amato, Davide Merlo and Paolo Tempo are on a mission to share their tradition and neighborhood with the United States.

“Our objective is to be the leading Italian way of life knowledge in the United States. There are many Italian importers, but we supply one of a kind and reliable ordeals as opposed to just offering items,” clarifies Giorgio Tavecchio, CEO of ElevenTwelve. 

“Our mission is not to promote Italian goods but to educate consumers to understand and adore the Italian way of daily life. To do this, we are continuously adding to our bouquet of solutions, choosing not only primarily based on high quality, but also on uniqueness and specialness. We are an American Desire sharing the Italian Desire!” 

Tavecchio grew up involving Italy and the United States. Though he thought his route was to participate in colligate soccer, he was available a last minute stroll-on spot on the Cal Berkeley football workforce. “As the Godfather famously said, ‘it was an offer I could not refuse.’ I showed up on campus a few days in advance of the 1st video game and finished up starting off for 4 yrs — a actually uncommon incidence,” he recalls. Tavecchio finished up continuing his football profession in the NFL, participating in for 6 groups in 9 decades. 

Tavecchio fortuitously fulfilled each of his co-staff by means of the activity of soccer. It has been their love of Italian meals and wine that has solidified their bond, previous just friendship, and into the globe of small business.

“We produced a deep bond of friendship which seemed to center all around the table that exceptional time and space in which we shared life alongside one another. Reflecting on this deep sense of link, two absolutely various worlds — American Soccer and Italian foodstuff and wine — appeared to unite superbly.”

We chatted with Tavecchio on how ElevenTwelve arrived together, his enthusiasm for Italian cuisine, the ElevenTwelve crew, and additional. Here’s what he experienced to say.

How did you go from professional football to co-founding ElevenTwelve? When did you come to a decision you desired to make the move into this new industry?

Maybe the most impactful experience from my formative college a long time was my friendship with Vincenzo D’Amato. His tale is rather equivalent to mine: born in Palermo, Sicily and moved to the US around age nine, he also grew up playing soccer but observed his route to faculty having the form of an American soccer.

In a rare stroke of coincidence, ended up the only two Italian-born faculty football players in the overall country: at the exact same college or university, at the same time, taking part in the identical placement (kicker). 

While we competed for the setting up spot on the discipline, we turned the greatest of pals off the area thanks to our shared values and cultures, normally web hosting huge staff dinners ourselves. After 4 formative years at Cal Berkeley, I experienced the good fortune of continuing my football journey into the NFL. Because of our distinctive football backgrounds as Italians, Vincenzo and I would return to Italy to enable mentor soccer clinics.

It was at one of these clinics in 2018 (although I was on the Oakland Raiders) where by we achieved Paolo and Davide. And just like the serendipity of my and Vincenzo’s conference in college, we promptly felt a shut connection to Paolo and Davide, spending extended hrs around a supper desk sharing tales and reliving (… and exaggerating) our soccer glory times.

We discovered that everyday living is greater when lived together, just like playing greater when taking part in as a team. Like in a football huddle, we appeared at each other and claimed: ‘Let’s enjoy this video game so we can share this sensation with other people’.  In this way, two worlds united into 1 bring about: assist other people today rejoice everyday living, just one food at a time. 

The seed planted in Italy then sprung fruit in the United States as we released ElevenTwelve in 2019. Whether kicking field ambitions in the NFL or creating tackles on filth fields in Italy, we chose our jersey figures to stand for our manufacturer: “Eleven” immediately after Davide’s jersey selection and “Twelve” right after Paolo’s jersey number. We personified our union of American football and Italian food by building the first at any time football-shaped pasta!

Converse about your enthusiasm for Italian cuisine and culture. Did you grow up cooking or in the restaurant business?

Indeed, both equally my parents are outstanding chefs so I have vivid childhood recollections of sitting all-around lengthy tables complete of food stuff and family members, having and chatting for hours on stop. I arrived to cherish these experiences as they were truly lifestyle-giving!

One thing I fondly keep in mind when returning to Italy as a kid was the every day simplicity of Italian food. The fact that each individual second at the table — no matter if a special situation at a cafe or a mundane Tuesday lunch — could be exclusive. The top secret is simplicity: a handful of top quality elements with negligible preparation, like Tagliatelle with Excess Virgin Olive Oil and Parmesan cheese (… primary Parmigiano though), can be unbelievably gratifying and made in below 5 minutes!

Also, my mom will come from a restauranteur spouse and children so I grew up in-and-close to kitchens my entire existence. In reality, when I turned 15 my mom instructed me: ‘you have two weeks to locate a task or I am finding one particular for you,’ so I normally gravitated toward remaining a bus-boy at the local Italian cafe.

And finally, other than inheriting my mother’s curly hair, I also inherited her ‘hanger’. As these kinds of, most of my day is centered close to meals and decisions generally built with my stomach.

Has pro soccer well prepared you in any way for what you do now? Has your passion for this sport carried into your team’s passion for ElevenTwelve? Discuss about what just about every of your co-founders brings to the table.

Soccer has taught me to be resilient and remain dedicated to a aspiration and to a team, just like in Al Pacino’s halftime speech in “Any Presented Sunday”. Our group is dedicated to serving to some others rejoice everyday living just one meal at a time! Like any other staff, we every single convey distinctive abilities to the desk.

Davide has used far more than 30 several years in the wholesale food stuff and wine getting marketplace in Italy and has personal knowledge of and connections with artisanal producers in Piemonte. Paolo’s history in finance can help composition our enterprise and his deeply charismatic character is the soul of ElevenTwelve.

Vincenzo brings a southern-Italian flare to our team, dealing with significantly of the in-human being tasks while I take care of a great deal of the marketing and advertising and company growth component. Our passion for residing lifestyle fully is what introduced us with each other and is the pleasure we need to share with others, particularly close to a desk!

Have you experienced to pivot in any way because of COVID?

Indeed, our original strategy concerned a a lot more B2B and foodservice (dining places, caterers) solution for strategic and economic good reasons. However, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated our launching into e-commerce, wherever we are capable to transmit extra of our own mission and objective to shoppers by using our imaginative content.